I really do not say that lightly. As a Londoner and relatively prolific explorer or whisky and other suitable libations, this experience really stood out.
Who wouldn’t like drinking gin and cocktails on a barge for three hours?
Exactly, no one.
We were obviously lucky due to the weather being so lovely in London right now but in reality I believe you could have a great time regardless as you have somewhere inherently designed for shelter and cover, a barge.
This is no ordinary barge, this is a vessel that used to house a chap who distilled vodka, then the vodka brand got big enough that he could afford a stationary home to turned his previous abode into a floating bar and distillery. Brilliant.
Our host for the evening was Cocktail Kate, a really engaging and insightful Scouser who was full of life and kept us not only entertained but enthralled as she told us tales of how gin came into our country and many more.
My favourite story was how gin was at one point an addiction and how to stop this addiction, during the aptly named Gin Craze, the government weaned people from gin by introducing caffeine in the form of tea. And now we are all addicted to tea.
As I sat down to write this review I looked through all my notes about the gin process, the cocktails we drank and the history of gin but when I thought about it I realised that I would be doing the experience a disservice by giving away too many parts of the story, the excitement and the events that you will experience.
We went through a near-magical Victorian tunnel, through a lock, or loch I guess, and listened intently to education through libation.
Needless to say, being on a barge that not only serves multiple cocktails, each with a history and a relevance to the evolution of our consumption and enjoyment of gin whilst a minute still happily bubbles away rectifying vodka into a barge-created gin is a great evening for anyone and will be for everyone.
The pictures will hopefully help me tell the story of the night.
I haven’t always loved Gin, I’m one of those people who has jumped on the bandwagon much like a certain Greg Dillon has jumped on the beard bandwagon ;-). But now I can say I do love Gin and all the experiential activity that comes with it. As Greg says who wouldn’t like drinking gin and cocktails on a barge.
Although a self-named ‘Gin Voyage’, it’s so much more from the historic tales, the beautiful scenery and great people, I was bragging away on social media all night. Little did I know there was prize for best use of social media.
I won, boom!
I came away knowing I’d learnt a lot and really up for trying more. When I look at a cocktail menu I often take some of the ingredients too literally and worry that one ingredient will overpower and I won’t like it. Cocktail Kate has taken away that fear, there were so many things she said that I thought I didn’t like but when the cocktail was created I really enjoyed.
I can’t recommend this enough and will jump aboard again. Despite being a scouser, Cocktail Kate is a legend – that’s really hard to say as a Mancunian!
Check out www.ShakeRattleandStir.co.uk @ShakeRattleStir to book your place on the next trip, now!
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